Option Care has ‘new energy, vision’

By Theresa Flaherty, Managing Editor
Friday, May 22, 2015

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Four months after a private equity firm acquired a majority stake in Walgreens Infusion Services, the provider has rebranded as Option Care.

“The name Option Care is already well-known and highly regarded among patients and healthcare providers,” said CEO Paul Mastrapa during a conference call May 19. “The new Option Care will build on our legacy of industry leadership to establish a brand with national capacity and a new energy and vision for the future.”

Walgreens in January announced that Chicago-based Madison Dearborn Partners had taken Walgreens Infusion Services private, with a 51% stake in the business. The company actually got its start in the home infusion market when it acquired Option Care for $850 million in 2007. Since then, the provider has expanded its product offerings and geographic footprint through more than a dozen acquisitions of regional and local infusion providers. 

For now, Option Care plans to pull back on making buys, a decision that doesn’t surprise industry watchers.

“They’ve got a significant footprint already and it makes sense to take a pause and make sure they have the footprint they want and then build from there,” said Reg Blackburn, managing director of specialty pharmacy and infusion services for The Braff Group.

Over time, however, Option Care sees an opportunity to be a “primary consolidator” in the fragmented industry, says Mastrapa.

“We’ll look at acquisitions in the future mostly for adding additional markets or bringing new therapy capacities to us that we can expand across the network,” he said.

Option Care serves an average of 50,000 patients daily, representing more than 10% of the growing $14 billion home infusion market.

With a rapidly aging population, growing rates of chronic diseases, and a robust product pipeline for infusible drugs, Mastrapa is understandably bullish on the future of home infusion.

“We provide high-quality patient care, patients love to be treated in the home, and it’s the lowest cost,” he said. “That speaks to the demands that are going to be required of providers.”